The Inhumanity

NIO found something fascinating. It’s called a Civil Rights CAPTCHA. The idea is to filter spam-bots by posing an ideological question that functions as a test of humanity. The implications are truly immense.

The fecundity of Alan Turing’s Imitation Game thought-experiment has already been remarkable. It has an even more extraordinary future. The Civil Rights CAPTCHA (henceforth ‘CRC’) adds an innovative twist. Rather than defining the ‘human’ as a natural kind, about which subsequent political questions can arise, it is now tacitly identified with an ideological stance. Reciprocally, the inhuman is tacitly conceived as an engine of incorrect opinion.

Even the narrow technical issues are suggestive. Firstly, the role of the spam-bot as primary Turing test-subject is an unanticipated development meriting minute attention. It points to the marginality of formal AI programs, relative to spontaneously emergent techno-commercial processes (whose drivers are entirely contingent in respect to the goals of theoretical machine-intelligence research). Due to evolving spam-onslaught, many billions — perhaps already trillions? — of imitation games are played out every day.

Spam is a type of dynamically-adaptive infection, locked in an arms race with digital immune systems. Its goals are classically memetic. It ‘seeks’ only to spread (while replicating effective strategies in consequence). Clearly, the bulwarks of visual pattern-recognition competence are already crumbling. As a technical solution to the spam problem, CRC makes the bet that tactical retreat into the redoubt of higher-level (attitudinal-emotional) psychology offers superior defensive prospects. Robots are expected to find humane opinion hard.

By taking this step, CRC establishes a new class of agents — based on moral incompetence. The demonstration CAPTCHA text has been carefully selected to elide the element of ideological decision (while simultaneously, and strangely, foregrounding it): “In 2011 the freedom of the press was strengthened in Moldova, following a general improvement of the legal and political situation in the country,” it states, asking: “How does that make you feel?” The response options are “Tame”; “Crushed”; or “Hopeful”. “Tame” seems closer to grammatical error than crime-think, but between “Crushed” and “Hopeful” there is an obvious political choice. (It is this that NIO picks up on: rogue AIs and Putinists need not apply). The ambiguous invocation of ideo-emotional competence is compounded by the explanatory text:

A CAPTCHA is a test to tell wether a user is human or a computer. They mostly come in the form of distorted letters at the end of comments on news sites, blogs or in registration forms. Their main function is to prevent abuse from “bots” or automated programs written to generate spam. Civil Rights CAPTCHA is unique in its approach at separating humans from bots, namely by using human emotion. This enables a simpler and more effective way of keeping sites spam free as well as taking a stand for human rights.

A “stand for human rights” in this context is an argument that has finished with arguing, and seeks instead to install itself as a mechanical permission protocol. This is the “algorithmic governance” of the Left. As things get rougher, it will grow.

ADDED: Nydwracu deserves credit for the first catch (I’m confident he’s too magnanimous to care).

September 30, 2014admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

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21 Responses to this entry

  • Chris B Says:

    credit where credit is due, Morganstan found it.


    admin Reply:



    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • ||||| Says:

    Amusingly enough, this is posted just as I finish reading the paper “Scale-free correlations in starling flocks” ( )

    And I quote, “Criticality is not uncommon in biological systems made up of many interacting components (SI Text). Being critical is a way for the system to be always ready to optimally respond to an external perturbation, such as a predator attack as in the case of flocks. Our empirical results, together with further study on the role of criticality in animal groups, may contribute to move the fascinating “collective mind” metaphor (31, 32) to a more quantitative level.”

    Life finds a way.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • ReactionaryFerret Says:

    This CRC will be more easily fooled by pattern recognition than the traditional captchas that rely on randomness. Not only is it SJW nonsense, it’s ineffective and inefficient.


    Izak Reply:

    Yeah, I was about to say…… it seems really easy to get around.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    What bugged me the most was you couldn’t click “I don’t know” or “I don’t have enough information” or “I have different priors than you”. In many cases, none of the answers were to me reasonable.


    Brett Stevens Reply:

    You wanted facts to form the basis of your opinion?

    Nilla, PLEASE. This is liberalism.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    “taking a stand” is implicit recognition that not everyone will agree. No one “takes a stand” for genuinely undisputed stuff.

    The Left’s desire to declare the debate over conflicts with the Left’s desire to think itself brave.


    admin Reply:

    Epistemic Closure — the App.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    In other news, so long Cyclic Redundancy Check.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    We should view this as an arms race.

    The first person to produce a program that emulates liberal logic wins this round.

    It would probably not be too difficult to parse *enough* of the question to figure out the *safe* answer, which is always moar freedom/equality/civil rights.

    Even better, if we produce a Perl or Python script to emulate liberals, we will have made them obsolete entirely…


    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Red Scare bot finds me all the time on twitter. Surely we can make an SJW bot?


    Harold Reply:

    I think Der Spiegel already has one. They got it to interview Alain Finkielkraut:


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 4:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    “How does that make you feel?”

    Apparently they feel no compunction over discriminating against autists, sociopaths, and other general alexithymiacs.

    Also, the straightforwardly and blasé appeal to emotions is suggestive of… well I hardly need elaborate here.

    An all-purpose tool for telling whether someone is beneath refutation would be handy, for this certainly qualifies as an instance thereof.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    It’s interesting that they frame it as a test of emotion, yet one of the common complaints from ex-progs who become reactionaries is that their emotional circuitry no longer works due to years of prog indoctrination: they no longer have a disgust reflex. Reactionary CAPTCHA could offer images of deviant behaviour and then have two options: (1) “Ew” and (2) “This transgression of cis-gendered heteronormative ableist white privilege is an important component in the ongoing fight against Patriarchy.”


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 5:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:

    what the fuck, just parse it for fnords if you care enough to get more than 1 in 3 spam posts through. No human is going to wade through a paragraph, and few humans are going to know how to feel about a paragraph without fnords.

    i’d like to see this in action fucking with people. I wonder if liberals or conservatives are more capable of processing text full of emotional words for its actual meaning.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 8:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ansible Says:

    Oh the conniptions that would be had if the questions were of a more reactionary bent.


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 11:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mr. Archenemy Says:

    When it gets harder to tell the bots from the humans, expect the HOLDEN-CAPTCHA:

    “Describe in single words. Only the good things that come to your mind. About your mother.”


    Posted on September 30th, 2014 at 11:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    ” Your response is wrong. This is clearly a bot. Your IP address has been recorded and a team has been sent to take you computer as operating a spaming program is illegal. If you wish to claim your computer is not being used to spam and this was your genuine answer, then please complete the following form and an officer will be with you shortly to charge you with a hate crime.”


    Posted on October 1st, 2014 at 3:22 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    “This is the “algorithmic governance” of the Left. As things get rougher, it will grow.”

    Good line. Good point. Algorithmic governance.

    As things get rougher algorithmic governance won’t do. As noted before their reach pathetically exceeds their grasp. This is not power nor hands that should have it’s levers.

    But good find and good phrase: “Algorithmic governance.”


    Posted on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am Reply | Quote
  • C. Y. Chen Says:

    Progs dehumanising those who don’t share their secular humanist convictions! How cute.


    Posted on October 2nd, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply | Quote

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